Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Lenten reflections from years past


Wednesday March 24  

Scripture: John 20:29

Beads of sweat trickled down my forehead as I cut the grass. My mind raced like the blade on the lawnmower. The thought whirling through my brain was definitely a difficult question: Where do I really stand in God’s sight? The more I pondered, the less confident I was of my ranking. The competition was stiff: Abraham, Moses, David, and onward. At this rate, the bottom of the totem pole would be a welcome spot.

As the last blade of grass fell and the mower’s engine silenced, I remembered a verse. Jesus said, “Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”

Prayer: God, I believe in you. Thank you for caring about me. Amen.

Wayne Kersey, 1982



Thursday March 25

Scripture: Colossians 3:17

On the evening news recently, there was a segment on the progress of [first mechanical] heart transplant patient, Barney Clark. The surgeon was discussing some of the many ethical and moral decisions that surrounded his care. Among these was the question of whether or not Barney would have to decide if his fight for life was worth the struggle. The piece led me to think about the enormity of such a decision from many different perspectives – as a person, as a doctor, and as a Christian.

As a person, I thought about the difficult time that I have trying to decide something as trivial as what to prepare for a special meal – or even an ordinary one! How could I possibly face the decision of whether or not I wanted to go on living with the physical limitations of someone like Barney Clark?

From the view of a doctor, I thought about the profound effect such an experiment was an artificial heart transplant would have on the medical community forevermore. Would I be willing to accept the responsibility for such an experiment with all its ramifications?

As a Christian, we must then add to our personal and professional decisions the added dimension of Christ’s principles. To choose Christ’s way in this high-tech society of our is most often perplexing. But we must call on His boundless strength and guidance to meet that challenge.

Prayer: Lord, help me as one individual in your vast plan, to choose your way in my decisions.

Norma Newbrough, 1983



Friday March 26 

There are times when God tries to grab our attention so that we can enjoy life and marvel at His power.

Sometimes, He will create a beautiful spring day complete with flowers and birds. Sometimes we even notice His effort.

Other times, God will paint the trees a thousand different hues. All we have to do is look up, anywhere around, and we can’t help but notice His majesty. Alas, all too often we don’t life our eyes form the path of our troubles.

But God doesn’t give up on us. He will, when needed, call upon winter to reach us. With a bat of His eye, God sends piles of soft, white snow. This silent blanket makes us stop. We can’t busily jet from place to place, problem to problem. We are forced to pause, to notice, to give God the respect due Him. After this pause the only other thing we can do is play in the new wonderland as children, children of a loving God.

Andy Fry, 1990



Saturday March 27 

Every morning when I wake up, I’m consciously or unconsciously looking for a reason to get up and find a pathway to happiness. I yearn to see something inspirational, find something positive, or envision a way I can make a difference within the next 24 hours. It seems inconsequential but it the reason to get motivated every day.

I wonder when I’ll realize that God has assured us, time after time, day after day, that the answer is within the Bible and His word. He says to not worry about the past or future, He will take care of us if we accept His love and forgiveness. The lilies of the field and the feathers of each bird are under His wing. He will see us through every difficulty and trial, make a difference every day, and oversee encounters with others every day. I can revel in a hug from a child, a smile from a co-worker who knows I understand, or expend patience and acceptance towards someone I don’t know. The motivation for happiness and fulfillment isn’t a tomorrow thing with conditions; it’s a today thing with acceptance of our inadequacies, God’s forgiveness, and the promise that you can make a difference in His world today.

Prayer: Dear God, open our ears to hear your word.

Karen Kersey, 2006



Sunday March 28 Palm Sunday

Scripture: Matthew 16:13 “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi he asked his disciples, Who do you say I am?

People throughout the time since Jesus’ life have referred to Him using many different terms: Prophet, Savior, Healer, Teacher, and other names. All are appropriate but the one I think of that most closely fits is Teacher. Since I have spent my working years in public education and have encountered the work of many teachers, it is apparent to me that no calling is more important than that of a teacher to the well-being of society. In a sense we are all teachers when we help children or when we help others by showing them how things work or how they ought to be done.

There is, therefore, the study of the life of Jesus as a teacher that should be the main emphasis of our religious studies and efforts. It is through his precepts and parables, his instruction and his advice that we gain insight into how our lives should be lived as Christians.

Prayer: Pause for a moment and reflect upon one or more of the great teachers you have had that influenced your life, and thank God for that life or those lives and remember the greatest Teacher of all time.

David Koontz, 2008



Monday March 29  

How many days have I started with a list of things to get accomplished? Then I look back at day’s end and realize most of my list is still left undone. I spend too much time being angry when I realize I’ve lost focus and become distracted from my goals. It takes discipline and a sense of purpose to zero in on our work or dreams in order to fulfill them.

Even in the last days before he was arrested, and even while he recognized he was fated to die – perhaps an ultimate distraction! – Jesus would not be deterred from caring for people in need. We read in Luke 13 that Jesus was warned, but he refused to abandon his mission. He was going to do the work of the day, the work God had sent him to do, even as Jesus was aware of the storm gathering around him in the turbulent city.

Jesus models for us a way to maintain our course when voices around us are calling out loudly with alternatives: by focusing on doing God’s work one day at a time. Jesus is calm, secure in God’s love, despite the clamor around him. We cannot always block out the noise of the world, but we can have faith that we will be provided for, protected, and loved each day.

Prayer: Lord, help us to maintain our focus on you. Let us feel your love and know what you have called us to do. Help us to not be distracted from that calling and do your will. Amen.

Greg Belcher, 2006



Tuesday, March 30     

Scripture: Colossians 4:6

Our attitudes are contagious. If we are optimistic and upbeat, we’ll spread optimism wherever we go. But if we fall prey to pessimism and doubt, our friends and loved ones will suffer right along with us.

Are you fully aware of the power of your words? The words you speak and the tone you use have the power to lift others up or to bring them down.

You have the power to be a source of encouragement to your loved ones, and they need that kind of encouragement. So remember the words of Lydia Maria Child, author and social reformer who said, “An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.”

So then, let us start lifting. Do something every day that makes someone else happy.

Bill and Fran Casto, 2011



Wednesday March 31 

Scripture: “No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9

This Lenten Season has begun and is now ending! One question I have for you today is What will this Lenten experience teach you for the rest of your life? Think about the day Christ comes. There you are in the great circle of the redeemed… but it is as if you and Jesus are all alone. I’m speculating now, but I wonder if Christ might say these words to you: “I’m so proud that you let me use you. Because of you, others are here today. Would you like to meet them?”

At that point Jesus might turn to the crowd and invite them. One by one, they begin to step out and walk forward. The first is your neighbor, a crusty old sort who lived next door. To be frank, you didn’t expect to see him. “You never knew I was watching,” he explains, “but I was. And because of you, I am here.”

It’s not long before you and your Savior are encircled by the delightful collection of souls you’ve touched. Some you know, most you don’t, but for each you feel the same. You feel what Paul felt: “I’m so proud of your faith.” (1 Thessalonians 2:19)

What’s the point of Lent? It’s to get us closer to Christ and stronger in our walk of faith for eternity. Forget giving up those sweets! Really sacrifice something that will help feed your soul and feed someone else in the long run! Christ sacrificed his life – not sweets or soda but his LIFE – for us!

Will people step forward in heaven because of your faith?
What can you do to share Christ with others?

Pastor Richie McNeil, 2011



Thursday April 1 Maundy Thursday  

We have received the gift of life and all the great things God has given along with it. But have we taken our lives, Jesus, and his crucifixion and resurrection for granted?

The daily problems, unhappy occurrences, tears, and pain create in us a weariness, a despair and dissatisfaction toward life. We begin to wish we were like turtles with a shell for retreat whenever life’s path becomes rugged. We are unable or unwilling to put the joys, beauty, freedom, reassurance of friends in perspective – the hard days are far more easily remembered than those of harmony.

We find ourselves saying, “Take back your gift,” rather than “Thank you for the dance of life.” Commercializing of Easter may be one such way of keeping ourselves at a distance with the realities of Jesus’ death; the value which God placed upon our lives.

There is good reason for us to celebrate Easter, but may we also contemplate the importance of life and rejoice in the experience of living!

Dance, then, wherever you may be.
“I am the Lord of the Dance,” said he.
“I’ll live in you if you live in me.
And I’ll lead you all in the Dance,” said he.

Janice Erenrich, 1975



Friday April 2 Good Friday

I know of only one response. It’s awfully simple and it’s been said so much that maybe it doesn’t mean to us what it should. This is the GOOD NEWS that Christ came to share.

God loves you.

God is with you always.

God cares about you and what happens to you.

We say it in church frequently.

I pray that the depth of these few words is not lost in their simplicity. When things are out of our control, and frustration reigns, we can rest in the truth of these phrases.

We are NEVER alone.

Charlie Fry, 2008



Saturday April 3 Holy Saturday
Let our love for God and His Son shine in our lives and faces. It is the first sign of a Christian. There are so many places Christ wishes us to go to and s many good deeds He wants us to do. He has to rely on us to see that His presence in the world is continued.

Every time you give a little of yourself to others, God gives himself to you.

Fred and George Ann McKinney, 1990



Sunday April 4 Resurrection Sunday 
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look at the tomb. Look, there was a great earthquake, for an angel from the Lord came down from heaven. Coming to the stone, he rolled it away and sat on it. Now his face was like lightning and his clothes as white as snow. The guards were so terrified of him that they shook with fear and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Don’t be afraid. I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He isn’t here, because he’s been raised from the dead, just as he said. Come, see the place where they laid him. Now hurry, go and tell his disciples, ‘He’s been raised from the dead. He’s going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.’ I’ve given the message to you.” Matthew 28:1-7

I wonder when the tomb ‘became’ empty.
Was it before, or after the angel rolled the stone away?

I like considering that it was before. I like the idea that an angel rolling the stone away was not for the benefit of Jesus (so he could get out) but for the benefit of Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, the first witnesses of the empty tomb, the first witnesses of the resurrected Christ. After the women hear from the angel,
they rush to tell the disciples, and on the way, Jesus meets them.

Grace upon grace. Grace upon grace.

The incredible grace of the resurrection, presented without asking.

Such is the grace of God, who makes a way where there is none,
and who shows us the way.

Of course, we are asked to be witnesses, and God joins us in that as well:
“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

God bless you, dear ones, and God send you and go with you.
We are not alone. Thanks be to God.

Pastor Kerry, Easter 2021

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Lenten reflections from years past

Wednesday, March 17

Spring is springing, birds are singing, the sun is sunning, and a mere year after the beginning of a global pandemic that has shaken the lives of billions, vaccinators are vaccinating. There is new life in the air! This Lent especially we look as the grass begins to green and the trees to bud and we look with hopeful expectation to a celebration of Easter.

I am enjoying sharing little bits of history with you as I comb through a few of the archives of Lenten devotions from Lakeview disciples, and as I write a reflection this week, I think back to the birth of my own child (who turns 18 today!) I am reminded of the wonder of her life, and God’s gift to me. Moments after she was born I just held her in my arms and cried for joy. Who was I to receive such a precious child?

When we returned to our home the day she was baptized, we were greeted by mourning doves in our mums. Never before or after did we see doves in our mums, but on that day of baptism, there they were. What a gift!

I remember a time when she had a coloring page of Joseph after he was thrown in a well by his bitter brothers. What did my daughter do? She drew a ladder! Precious child!

I receive such joy being her daddy, and truly I receive joy living as a child of God and sowing and growing among you in God’s garden.

To God be the glory!

Kerry Bart, 2021


Thursday, March 18

Before moving to St. Albans and attending Lakeview Church, my life was lost. I had no aim that included God. But since then, I met so many people in this area that influenced me, taking me for who and what I am. I used to not get involved, take part, or help. I often said, “I am too tired,” or “I don’t have time.” But here, I have seen so many that help and work and never really say “no.”

It has been inspiring.

Then I realized that God played a big part in this kind of person’s life, and I wanted to have God share my load and be part of this. Including God made my life so much more meaningful and pleasant. It gave me new strength, and gave my life new meaning.

When I look around me, I see as in my favorite hymn “how great Thou art!”

Prayer: God, continue to teach me and others patience, courage, knowledge, confidence, and love. We need you and your love to go from day to day. Amen.

Dicky Thompson, 1982


Friday, March 19

Scripture: Mark 9:50 – Good salt is worthless if it loses its saltiness, it can’t season anything. So don’t lose your flavor!

To keep one’s Christian enthusiasm through everyday trials and tribulations is, at best, difficult; but to lose it is disastrous. Just think of what a “pinch of salt” can do for even the poorest of food! That in itself is a small miracle, and each of us has within himself, by the grace of God, the talent and ability to “season” those we touch in Christian love, and add “flavor” to all who will receive.

“Good salt” needs to be used!

Prayer: Help us, Lord, to reach out and touch others in Christian love – keeping our “flavor” by giving it away.

“A Friend”, 2008


Saturday, March 20

Scripture: John 8:12 – Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, “I am the light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”

My father-in-law and I were recently attempting some interior lighting enhancements to  my home. After overcoming several challenges presented by the project, we were ready for the ultimate test of our workmanship. I reached for the light switch with the expectation of seeing the kitchen illuminated, but nothing happened.

We stood in disbelief. Why didn’t the lights com on? We immediately began troubleshooting. Did it blow the breaker? Did we not wire something correctly? My father-in-law then realized we hadn’t installed any bulbs in the light fixtures!

After we finished laughing at our obvious oversight, I began to apply our gaffe to my Christian faith. Often, I focus too much on the wiring of life and overlook the light source. Attending church, Sunday School, Bible study, and performing various good deeds are all good things, but without Christ at the center of my life, I will miss the spiritual illumination that he can provide.

Prayer: God, thank you for sending your Son to be our Savior, as well as a guiding light for us. Forgive us when we stray from your lighted path. We ask that you help us put Jesus in the center of our lives, so that we can be a light for your glory. Amen

Thought for the Day: Jesus is our everlasting light.

Wayne Kersey, 2011


Sunday, March 21

Scripture: Matthew 6:28-34 (“Consider the lilies”)

Spring as none other season holds such an aura of expectancy for me. The most rewarding accomplishments come from being able to hang freshly laundered curtains up to sparkling windows that have been opened to air out the winter’s stuffiness. It is being able to bring indoors an apparently dead branch of forsythia, and by placing it in a vase of water, watch life burst forth.

I hope to always be in awe of how the simple things can give such meaning and pleasure to one’s life. I became aware of this priceless lesson the Easter of 1970 when Jay was born. We were living in a rural farming community where everyone was seemingly absorbed with the various responsibilities of running a farm. My feelings were truly mixed, for the excitement of having a baby was wonderful, but feelings of isolation and loneliness were also present.

The long waiting was over, when on Good Friday we went to the hospital to have Jay. The joy of having a perfect little life seemed to dispel all previous feelings of gloom. This abundant gift from God was not all I was to receive that Easter.

The day we took Jay home from the hospital, the temperature was bitter cold, and the ground lay beneath a blanket of snow. As we pulled into our driveway, I caught a glimpse of something that had not previously been there, for along the wall stood bunches of daffodils in bloom. I couldn’t imagine how they had gotten there inasmuch as I certainly hadn’t had the foresight to plant them.

As the days went on I would find myself being drawn to the kitchen window to gaze at those sturdy daffodils. I had needed this visual sign from God, saying to me that regardless of winter storms and frozen ground, His love pushes through and is there for the asking. I will always be thankful for God’s servant that took time to plant this lesson for me.

Nancy Smith, 1983

Monday, March 22

Scripture: 1 John 4:11 - Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

My two-year-old daughter is in a very affectionate stage. She freely gives hugs, blows kisses and says, “I love you.” Everyone in the family enjoys being loved by her – sticky kisses and hugs and all.

Love comes in many varieties. Two kinds of love are described in the verse in 1 John – God’s love toward us and our love toward others. We were loved by God who loved us enough to create us. After sin entered into the world, God loved us enough to redeem us by allowing Jesus to die on the cross in our place. This is perfect love.

Because of God’s great love toward us, we are commanded to love each other. Sometimes this isn’t easy. Not everyone is as lovable as a sweet two-year-old. Sometimes life’s battles and disappointments leave scars and turn people bitter, cold, and not easily lovable. But this doesn’t change God’s command to love them. By trying to see them as God see them, we allow God to love them through us.

Accepting God’s love and letting God love others through us is a sure sign that we are abiding in Christ and letting him work in us.

Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for loving us enough to die for us. Make your love present in our actions today. Amen.

Thought for the Day: God calls us to love even those who seem unlovable.

Veronica Clingenpeel, 2006


Tuesday, March 23

I recall a story from Guideposts several years ago that has always stuck with me. It was about a fellow who was a “water dowser”.
He had learned by accident when he was twelve years old that he had a strange and rare talent of being able to find underground veins of water with a forked stick. He used the talent only to entertain himself because he did not intent to subject himself to public ridicule.

He grew up, married, and spent his adult life in the Pacific Northwest, cowboying, fruit picking, truck driving, saw milling, and ranching.
He had done well, raised his family, and life was moving on.

At about fifty, he had an accident cutting timber, and ended up in the hospital for a few months with a broken back. He recovered, and went back to work cutting timber.

About a year later, he had another accident, which broke even more of the bones in his body. After recovering, he moved further into the country, and had to use his rare talent to find water for himself.
He also found water for a neighbor, and then for another neighbor.

At this point he said to himself, “I never thought of it as a God-given gift. Instead, I felt self-conscious about being different, and fearful of what people would say.” And he went into “dowsing” full time.
He brought untold joy to many farms and small-town people in the dry areas of the region, and eventually began to say, “God has made me to be a water dowser. We all have unique talents. God was smart that way. He knew we would all need one another, and that is what keeps us close.”

Bill Casto, 1990

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Lenten reflections from years past

 Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Scripture: Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

This is one of my most favorite verses that I can think of in relationship to my life. This scripture tells me that God, like a potter has shaped my life. It also means that God has created all people in like manner. This realization gives us hope, that each one of us in our own uniqueness is precious to God. Just as each piece of pottery is precious to the potter.

Even though we are like the pottery pieces with different glazes, sizes, shapes, and depth, we are made of the same material and with the same hands. We are made out of clay which to me represents love. This love is at the very core of our being.

Now in my prayer I ask God to fill my pottery bowl or my heart with God’s spirit and wisdom. This is my prayer for you.

Ravi Isaiah, 1990

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Scripture: Surely I am with you always. (Matthew 28:20)

Never look ahead to the changes and challenges of this life in fear. Instead, as changes and challenges arise, look at them with the full assurance that God, whose you are, will deliver you out of them. Hasn’t He kept you safe up to now? So hold His loving hand tightly, and He will lead you safely through all things. And when you cannot stand, He will carry you in His arms.

Do not look ahead to what may happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you His unwavering strength that you may bear it. Be at peace, then, and set aside all anxious thoughts and worries. – Francis de Salles

The Lord is my shepherd. (Psalm 23:1)

Not was, not may be, nor will be. “The Lord is my shepherd.” He is on Sunday, on Monday, and through every day of the week. He is in January, in December, and every month of the year. He is when I’m at home and in China. He is during peace or war, and in times of abundance or poverty. – J. Hudson

Nicole Milam, 2008

Friday, March 12, 2021

We have been dealing with this pandemic for a year or so now, and many of us wearied of it long ago.

Can you imagine what it was like for the Israelites to wander in the desert for forty years? Scripture tells us they were complaining before even a few weeks had gone by!

Yet God was teaching them during their desert time, demonstrating that he was Jehovah Jireh, God who sees to it, God who provides.

Oh that we would learn well and quickly how great the Lord’s love for us is, and that we would entrust ourselves fully to his care, for “God is good, all the time! All the time, God is good!”

Take a moment to thank God for how you’ve been provided for.

Kerry Bart, 2021

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Scriptures: Leviticus 19:18 & Luke 10:25-37

Ways to Worship with Your Life

Love the unlovely
It’s easy to love the people you like. But how about those you don’t? Like the lady in the choir who talks incessantly... You don’t want to hear another word about her uncle’s brother’s cousin’s co-worker’s foot problem. But unlike the church choir lady, perhaps you are someone else’s “unlovely”. Think about that the next time she corners you. Try seeing her and loving her the way God sees and loves you.

Be neighborly. Borrow some sugar.
As believers, everyone is our neighbor. But sometimes we forget that our neighbors are really our neighbors as described in Luke. Whether we live in a high-rise or on several country acres, we all have people who live next to us. Become a fisher of neighbors and extend your hand to them. Make them wonder why you care [so much].

Prayer: Dear Lord, let us all be fishers of people. Our friends, our enemies, our family, our neighbors and even strangers. Let us spread the word of your love. Amen.

Laura MacCorkle, 2006

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Scripture: The Lord is in His Holy Temple, let all the earth keep silent before Him! (Habakkuk 2:20)

I used to ride to work in a car pool, and even though the fifteen-mile trip seemed to go quickly with everyone chattering, something seemed to be missing. With a change in the various members’ work schedules, I suddenly had to drive by myself to work. Even though the trip seemed longer, more time could be spent in meditation, especially giving thanks to God for those things which He provides for us each day that we often take for granted: family, heath, abilities, community, church and many, many others. There is a possibility that our car pool may be brought back together with yet another change in our schedules, but I am wondering?

Prayer: Thank you for the silent times, the times we may be mindful and thankful for those things which you have provided. Guide our steps and thoughts throughout this day. Amen.

Bob Carpenter, 1982

Monday, March 15, 2021

Scripture: James 4:14

There are so many moments wasted by people each day. An opportunity to do a small chore, read an interesting article, or call a friend slips through our fingers more often than any of us care to admit. If gold bars were awarded for time wasted, I would be a “high-ranking” official. I have recited the Dawdler’s Creed of “I didn’t have time” religiously. “I didn’t have tome to empty the garbage.” “I didn’t have tome to call my friend.” “I didn’t have time to …” I sometimes wonder if the true meaning of the phrase should be “I didn’t make time.”

God reminds us in the book of James that life is like a vapor that quickly vanishes. Even though we rarely realize it, life is too short to waste. We should seize every moment to study God’s word, do God’s will, and share in God’s work.

Wayne Kersey, 1990

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Scripture: Matthew 6:25-34

When I am feeling low or troubled about something, I always remember the words of a song we used to sing in the country churches I attended as a child. Some of the words are as follows:

Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you.
Beneath his wings of love abide, God will take care of you.
God will take care of you, through every day, o’er all the way.
He will take care of you. God will take care of you.

While I am doing dishes, I can sing this song quietly to myself     a couple of times and it always brings inner calm and peace. Although nothing has changed and the problems are the same,    I know that God cares and there is no need for me to be unhappy or worried.

Prayer: Thank you God for caring about us, and always being available. Forgive us for our moments of weakness when our faith falters. Amen.

Linda S. Turpin, 1975

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Lenten reflections from years past

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Scripture: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

God’s Plan… God’s Direction

There have been many times that I have heard discussed God’s plan for our lives. People have said, “This is God’s plan for your life, my life, etc.”

I believe God does have a beautiful plan for mankind and we all strive toward it as we reach out to Him… but I also feel He has given us free will placed in the world of natural laws that He created. Our very own bodies are subject to these natural laws (rules). God has dished out to us nature but it has been blessed with His wisdom.

God’s direction is different from His plan. The word direction implies a course laid out for us – but a course we can either accept or reject. It is hard to know which course God intends us to take unless we are in communication with Him through prayer, scripture, fellowship and worship We need to cultivate friendships with those who love God and have Him in their lives. We need to read good books that can speak to our hearts and minds. We need to witness to others of the ways God has touched our own lives.

As I look back over my life I can see so many places where God has reached down and directed my life. Many times He has almost had to hit me on the head to make me realize what He would have me do. His direction has always been there for me to accept… and each time I have realized His guidance I have absolutely known what I have chosen to do was right and His will.

After realization of His direction I have had a great sense of awe at His great love and power. So many times His direction was already working in my life before I even turned to Him for advice and help. He has sent me people or ‘circumstances’ at just the right moment. We do have to reach out and accept His guidance though. We must leave ourselves open to Him by looking for the good that we can find in unpleasant situations. The closest I have come to God has been those beautiful moments that I accepted Him and recognized his direction.

Carol Fry, 1982


Thursday March 4, 2021

I was pretty new to the church community in Campbelltown PA in 2011 when that region received heavy rains, and fields were flooded, and I remember finding this song, “Though the Mountains May Fall,” by Dan Schutte. I made a recording of it for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. We hold that even in times of trouble, God is good, all the time (all the time, God is good!). – Pastor Kerry, 2021

Though the mountains may fall and the hills turn to dust
Yet the love of the Lord will stand
As a shelter for all who will call on His name
Sing the praise and the glory of God

[Verse 1]
Could the Lord ever leave you?
Could the Lord forget his love?
Though a mother forsake her child,
He will not abandon you


[Verse 2]
Should you turn and forsake Him
He will gently call your name
Should you wander away from Him
He will always take you back


[Verse 3]
As He swore to your fathers
When the flood destroyed the land
He will never forsake you
He will swear to you again


Friday, March 5, 2021

Scripture: Why do you seek the living among the dead? – Luke 24:5

We live in an age that doesn’t believe much in miracles. Even so, God goes quietly about the business of performing miracles quite well. Everything about the season of spring is awesome. The springing up of the flowers, new leaves on the trees are no less miracles even though they are familiar.

The people in the time of Jesus weren’t much different from us. The women came to the tomb of Jesus not expecting a miracle. When they got there, they found themselves confronted by two men in dazzling apparel who asked, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”

Our lives can take on new meaning when we realize that His spirit is alive in our midst just as He was alive among His disciples long ago. We begin to experience His power when we realize that this “miracle of miracles” set Him free to even be our companion.

Prayer: Dear God, help me to overcome my blindness to see you in many miracles each day and meet you in the risen power of your Son. Amen.

Pastor John L. Smith, 1983


Saturday, March 6, 2021

Scripture: Isaiah 56

Care for the Problems of Today

“What we are spending our energy on today is arguing about morality in government. That is not to say that this issue is not important; in many respects it transcends every other issue in a free society.
But morality should be something we start with in a free society;
we ought to be able to have a government that may be wrong but, nevertheless, can be counted on as being moral.” – William E. Ruckleshaus, from an address at Virginia Tech, Jan. 29, 1975

It does seem that we learn terribly slow. Amos, the shepherd prophet from Tekoa, spoke against the people for “accepting bribes and [selling] into slavery the poor who can’t repay their debts – they trample the poor in the dust and kick aside the meek.” Jeremiah cautioned the people to “stop your wicket thoughts and deeds, and [be] fair to others, and stop exploiting orphans, widows and foreigners. And stop your murdering.” Then 2,500 years ago Isaiah advised folks to “Be just and fair to all. – Do what’s right and good--.”

Yet it sometimes seems that these men never spoke; that we never heart; that each generation has to learn all over again; that Christ’s message, too, was ignored. The nation’s problems can be solved by
a return to selflessness and caring for others and departure from
self-centeredness as He taught.

Christ called us to love God and each other. That’s still the cure for today. The way we  live our lives down to the most insignificant person in the most insignificant situation shows whether or not
we’re taking our cure.

Prayer: Father, help me to “do what’s right and good” for others and to think less of myself. Amen.

Charlie Fry, 1975

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Scripture: “But Jesus said, ‘Suffer little children and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” - Matthew 19:14

As I grow older one thing seems more and more clear, that life is more enjoyable if you can find some good point in every bad situation, a silver lining so to speak.

Prior to moving to the Lakeview area it would only take me about 7 minutes to drive to work, and now it takes about 30 minutes. Day in day out, week in and week out, the difference in driving time really adds up. The silver lining in all this driving time is the quality time I now have one-on-one with Morgan who is now 4 years old. Some of the conversations we have had on these long drives I will forever treasure as priceless memories. The following occurred a few months ago and is my favorite.

Morgan started out by asking me if anyone could live forever. I tried in my feeble way to explain to her how some people live long healthy lives while others leave this world at a young age, but eventually all people must die in one way or another. But if we stay close to Jesus and keep him in our hearts and if we are always goo (remember, I’m explaining to a 4-year-old) then when we die our soul will live forever with Jesus in heaven. Well, Morgan liked this idea, so she promised to be always good so that she could live with Jesus forever. And then her final question still warms my heart as I recall it over and over, “Mommy, will you promise to be good too so that you can live with me and Jesus forever in heaven?” I tearfully agreed to be very good.

Prayer: Dear God, please help me always to find the good in every bad situation. Help me to look for the hidden wisdom in the “mouth of babes.” Show us the way to draw close together as a family, and forever close to thee. Amen.

Ronda Garrett, 1990


Monday, March 8, 2021

Scripture: Exodus 16:3-10

Do we fail to see the miracles around us?

Soon it will be our turn in this part of God’s earth to plant our gardens. As this season nears, I get anxious, even excited about the miracles that will take place all around us. Plant a single grain of corn and you get back 200 kernels (I never counted them) on each ear. Usually there are two ears of corn per stalk. The corn is pollinated by the bees through the “silky” strands that run from the husk to each kernel of corn. This is a miracle! God uses little bees to help keep us in food.

One little tomato seed will produce enough tomatoes for two quarts or more of canned tomatoes. I could go on for pages, but this spring, go outside and witness the works of God all around us. We are the stewards of the land. We are blessed with the know-how, health and hand to nurture the good earth God gives us. We produce food for ourselves and to share with others. God will give us enough if we just thank him always for what he has already given us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for letting us share a little piece of your space and the miracles and blessings that come out of this space. Help us to recognize you in everything we do. Amen.

Johnny Carr, 2008


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

“I am pressed but not crushed, persecuted not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. I am blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure that His joy’s gonna be my strength.” Inspired by 2 Corinthians 4:8-9

These are words that are contained in the song “Trading My Sorrows.” Ever since the first time I heard this song it has been a favorite. The words make you think… He is always with me and I can get through anything with Him by my side.

I found a story regarding the writing of this song. The writer [Darrell Evans] was at a church service and they were praying at the altar and the writer started to think about what he would be laying at the base of the cross. He started to sing about what he would trade in. The band started to follow his lead and picked up the pace.

The whole congregation and the pastor began to feel the spirit of the words he was singing. Then the chorus came out of nowhere: Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes, Yes Lord as an agreement with the Lord that He was there at that moment. And so a song was born, and to listen to the words you feel the spirit in you as well. Think about what you would lay at the base of the cross. Trading my sorrows and shame should be something we all should do. Though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes in the morning. Listen closely before church starts on any Sunday and you will heart this song playing in the sanctuary.

Prayer: Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes, Yes Lord, we are here to spread your word. Help us to go into the world to teach those who know of you but have not accepted your love and caring spirit. Let us be the vessel to deliver the message. Amen.

Robin Black, 2006